1. The game engine creates the 3D environment using a 3D API like Direct3D or OpenGL. Both of these APIs use triangles as their basic building block to create 3D objects. Each triangle has coordinates in 3D space. These coordinates are transmitted, transformed and lit, through the API via the 3D card's specific driver. We'll assume in this simple example that our screen has a resolution of 10-by-10 pixels and that we have a triangle with vertices at positions (5,5), (10,10) and (10,0) forming a triangle on the right hand side of the screen.

2. The coordinates supplied by the API target a specific screen resolution. When the vertices are transformed and lit, they are provided with screen-space coordinates (unlike the world-coordinates used by the 3D application). These coordinates are thus linked to the final screen resolution. To reach our anti-aliasing goal, we need to up-sample (generate more related samples) these coordinates by at least a factor of two in both the horizontal and vertical direction to create a sufficient number of sub-samples for effective anti-aliasing. More sub-samples permit us to create more gradual transitions between the original pixel positions, thus reducing the jaggies and pixel-popping typical of "aliasing" problems. This up-sampling is a simple multiplication by two (in this example) of all screen coordinates. This, through NVIDIA's implementation, is done through the onboard T&L unit. Up-sampling by a factor of two increases the screen resolution of our example to 20-by-20 (10 multiplied by 2 in both the horizontal and vertical dimension). Our vertex positions will be up-sampled to (10,10), (20,20) and (20,0). Notice that the vertices and thus the triangle remain at the same relative position in screen-space.

3. The result of the previous operation is that all geometry is zoomed by a factor of two in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Simply put, everything is twice as big. We thus have four times the number of pixels drawn as compared to no up-sampling being performed. Our original screen of 10-by-10 pixels is now 20-by-20 pixels.

4. We render all the up-sampled geometry of this frame as we normally would, but to an off-screen (invisible) buffer. An off-screen buffer is used because we do not intend to send this larger image to the screen. This more detailed image will have to be reduced to the original resolution - down-sampled - before it is sent to the monitor, but it will retain the enhanced texture information of the larger image. Note that our example assumes only one triangle. A real world application has many more than one.

5. When the whole scene of this super-sampled frame is rendered, we have a high-resolution picture of the 3D world. We now need to down-sample this high-resolution picture into an anti-aliased lower resolution version. We thus need to go from 20-by-20 "super-sampled" (double resolution) image to a 10-by-10 anti-aliased image. This down-sampling is achieved by mixing pixel colors together in groups of two-by-two. Essentially, we take the color values of four neighboring pixels (square shaped), add them together and then divide by a factor of four. This means that the resulting color is an equal mix of the colors of the four high-resolution pixels. These four pixels in the high-resolution image are really the sub-samples of the anti-aliased pixels. Combined together, these sub-samples form a final anti-aliased pixel for the rendered image. By sampling at a higher resolution and then filtering down using an averaging filter, the high frequency components are smoothed out, which reduces the aliasing considerably. For a simple example, assume our scene contains dark bars (0%) on a bright background (100%), arranged in the vertical direction (striped effect) with a height of one sub-sample. The sub-sample would contain two dark and two bright sub-samples. The filtered down result of this is a half bright, half dark pixel. So the high frequency effect (0% and 100% alternating) causing aliasing is reduced to a continuous 50% blend.

6. The end result is of this process is again a 10-by-10 image, but anti-aliased via an OGSS super-sampling technique.